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By Stephen Lendman
|On March 13, US-born anthropologist, scholar, author, co-founder of the
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ACAHD) Jeff Halper was detained
in the West Bank by Israeli police on suspicion of “incitement.”
When targeted, he was speaking to a group touring the illegal Maaleh Adumin settlement. In an email to +972 Magazine, he said “I wasn’t talking about BDS or holding a sign that day, but I sometimes do and so do our other guides.”
“So someone called the police. They should have said to the caller: ‘Thanks for letting us know, but this is a democracy and people can talk on the street (even about BDS).’ But they didn’t of course, and detained me for ‘incitement.’ “
A police spokesman said “(t)here is no investigation into this matter. There was information checked by a patrol. Once it became clear (Halper) committed no violations, he was freed.”
Israeli laws target BDS advocacy. New legislation prohibits foreigners supporting BDS from entering the country, including Jews.
It bars anyone calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions, as well as foreign nationals representing groups supporting BDS.
Possessing or distributing BDS material remains legal, perhaps not for much longer. Though not arrested, Halper’s detention bears witness to repressive Israeli practices - mostly against occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens, Jews also vulnerable for challenging regime policies.
In another email to +972 Magazine, Halper explained in more detail, saying:
“The fact that someone can be detained for incitement just on suspicion of speaking about BDS shows how far we’ve gone towards fascism and repression in (justice minister) Ayelet Shaked’s police state.”
“The incident was minor, but the implications are scary. There is certainly a targeting of anti-occupation/BDS activists (for the Israeli authorities they’re both the same).”
“I know of a number of foreign activists who have been deported or not let in (like Luisa Morgentini, an Italian/European parliamentarian).
“Laws are already in place to deny Israeli groups dealing with BDS or human rights (the same to the Israeli authorities) funding.”
“And I expect some kind of law or regulation or sanctions (like not being able to teach or work) against BDS activists in general -or anyone critical of government policy. We’re in a new Bibi/Ayelet/Trump world, and it’s a slippery slope.”
Totalitarianism is ugly. It’s active and worsening in America and Israel.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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